Father’s Day is fast approaching and it can be a horrible trigger for many adults as well as children. Absentee fathers have made a virtual hole in their children’s lives. The child fills that void with feelings of being unloved and unwanted as well as thinking it’s their fault because of something they did or didn’t do.
These same feelings apply when the father is a narcissistic abuser. The horrible emotional abuse these children suffer can result in a lifetime of unhealthy relationships and low self-esteem. In the worst-case scenario, they will be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and anxiety.
Remember the narcissist is constantly projecting all his faults on everyone else around him in the household. This leaves the child carrying the brunt of emotional baggage.
These children know there is something wrong but they are too young to process through all the feelings as adults do. They are left traumatized, stuffing feelings and jumping to the smallest demand of their abuser. They know if they are “good” or “comply” they might divert the abuse for a short time.
With the narcissistic parent, children are just mere possessions. Showpieces for friends and outer family circles to permit them to look normal to the outside world. Normal is a fabrication and the child recognizes it.
Many of these children are severely neglected and physically abused as they are only there to supply the needs of the narcissist father. There is a love-hate relationship that is as confusing if you were living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The abuser can be so callous and menacing they may disregard boundaries, manipulate and hold the child hostage with shame and blame. Many of these children leave home as adults and find it hard to function in the outside world, not having the tools or coping skills to navigate various situations.
Their emotional IQ is much lower than others at their individual age range and find themselves in harm’s way many times throughout their adult lives. It is only later in life that they will seek help as they recognize toxic patterns begin to emerge.
If you are and adult survivor of a narcissistic father and you find this holiday emotionally difficult be reassured you are not alone. Do something different. Turn it around and make this day your own. Don’t allow anything to define you! You survived, now it’s up to you to become something spectacular!